A Muse’s Thoughts

by Frank Talaber

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Posted by franktalaber

”So how do you know you’re an author?” The question has been asked many times.

“In my soul.” Is always my answer.

But no one has yet asked “When did you know you were an author?”

To answer the question that no one has yet asked I would say “I guess in Grade Three”. The project that day was to write about a recent field trip. I won’t go into detail but my memoires had everyone in stitches laughing; a couple of my classmates said later that they’d never laughed so hard.

Somewhere inside of me that little muse grinned from ear-to-ear and very quietly began to poke away at my sanity. Muses do that, you know. That, and make you remember very important things, like never run from a hungry grizzly. Well except when he’s on TV, then you can run, poke your tongue out at him and tell him funny jokes. Although bears never get funny jokes, I’ve discovered. In fact the only thing they really understand is “Hey there’s a few rotting salmon in the next stream. Way better on your preference ladder for snackies than my scrawny body.”

Later, in High School, is when my muse woke up. She hasn’t shut up ever since (bit like my wife, but that’s another story). Now I know where the strange term “Jabberwocky” came from.

The first day of a creative writing course our assignment was to write half-an-hour non-stop on anything and everything. Staring at the blank, lined, pages I could only ask “I have to write for half-an-hour non-stop? About what????”

The teacher replied, “About anything and everything.”

So used to being told what to do in school in those days, the idea that I could just do something on my own and be let loose, seemed beyond bizarre.

“I’ll give you a zero if you don’t fill the page,” was his response.

Incentive, then. The muse wrung her hands in mirthful glee.

I simply stared in bewilderment at the blank page and wondered what kind of easy five-credit course did I think I had signed up for in a moment of insanity.

My hand shook as I held the pencil to the paper and very thoughtfully put down, ‘the walls are beige; the girl in front of me is a blonde; I wonder how old the gum stuck under my desk is; and I am so frigging bored. (I thought if I can put anything down, then the odd cuss word should be acceptable).

But at some point, after about a week, the muse lost patience and snapped. She (I know it’s a woman, she whacked me upside the head and took over, controlling bitch. [Back to the wife again, but, as I said, that’s another story]). The flow began, just as the teacher had said it would. By the end of the day I’d filled four to six pages, my pencil a blur trying to keep up with the whirling dervish inside my subconscious. She hasn’t shut up since, and I don’t intend to have her stop either. You’ll probably find me on my deathbed, pencil in hand, a hundred and three, and there will be a long jagged line scribbling down the page, stating…

To Be Continued.

Because some stories never end.

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